Abbott, a leader in nutrition science research and development, has announced increased access to Abbott’s nutrition metabolic formulas (ANMF) to help infants diagnosed with Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) in India. The announcement comes on the back of easing of import regulations by the country’s regulatory authority – FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) under the Diet4Life initiative, which has made the movement of these critical medical foods simpler and faster into the country since November 2016. The final approval on IEM products came in June 2017.
India has one of the world’s highest birth rates. Of the nearly 74000 babies born every day, 74 will be born with IEM. On a yearly basis, this translates to more than 27,000 infants who need specialised nutrition and medical attention to be able to stay healthy, and even survive.
Speaking on IEM products availability in India, Pawan Kumar Agarwal CEO, FSSAI, “We are delighted to bridge the gap between critical patients’ needs and world class nutrition solutions by enabling easy entry into Indian market. FSSAI understands that treating IEM needs a holistic approach including neonatal screening, monitoring symptoms before arriving at the right nutrition therapy. Through our “Diet4Life initiative,” we are not only addressing the access issue, but also creating an ecosystem of nutritionists and paediatricians to understand IEM better in the Indian context.”
Amal Kelshikar, Country Head & General Manager, Abbott’s nutrition business in India, said, “We believe proper nutrition is foundational for living the best and fullest lives possible. We are delighted to take the lead on making Abbott’s metabolic formulas available in India, and are grateful to FSSAI for enabling easy import of IEM and hypoallergenic products in the country that will help provide faster access to babies diagnosed with IEM disorders. Through a strong collaboration with government and third party organizations, we are able to give babies the chance to reach their full potential and live healthier lives.”
Dr Anupam Sachdeva, President of The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) said, “We are glad to be part of the collaboration that is bringing IEM products into India to address the critical needs of babies with IEM. Rare metabolic disorders need immediate medical and dietary interventions. As neo-natal screening is picking up in hospitals, we are confident that we will be able to monitor and track IEM incidence and help reduce acute illness and fatalities.”
Head of Pediatric Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Anuja Agarwala adds, “India has a very unique epidemiological profile, and we need to devise a diagnosis and management system that takes the best of nutrition protocols from across the world, to be more relevant and effective. I am happy that the industry players have come together to contribute the best of nutrition science to improve the health outcomes of children born with inborn errors of metabolism”.
Neonatal screening and significance of early detection
IEM form a large class of genetic diseases involving congenital disorders of metabolism. It affects the function of any tissue, as the patient is unable to convert food into energy. These disorders, caused by anomalies in enzymes that play a critical role in metabolism, present themselves at any stage from birth to adulthood. Therefore, early detection and medical attention is critical. Nutrition therapy, including the use of medical foods, is often the only treatment available. Proper nutrition management is essential in these disorders amendable to diet treatment and may prevent mental handicap and, possibly, death.
Specialised nutrition for neonates
Abbott has unparalleled research experience of more than three decades in IEM. The formulation and nutrient composition of ANMF medical foods are based on clinical research findings and recognized nutrient needs for growth and maintenance of nutrition status of IEM patients.
Nearly 40 years ago, Abbott’s team of clinicians put together The Nutrition Support Protocols (ed 4R, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, OHIO, 2001), a definitive guide to diagnose and manage metabolic disorders in infants. There are more than 40 diagnosed metabolic errors in the world, and some of the common disorders identified in India are Congenital Hypothyroidism, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (G6PD), Biotindase Deficiency, Galactosemia (GAL), Phenylketonuria (PKU) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).